Burn hazards are present in our everyday life whether we are at work or home. 400,000 people in the United States receive medical care for the treatment of burn injuries annually. In light of National Burn Awareness Weeks theme, “Electrical Safety from Amps to Zap! (A to Z)” we will discuss how you can prevent electrical burns in both your workplace and home.
Let’s start with what electrical burns are and how they happen. An electrical current travels through the body and meets resistant tissue, this leads to heat burn injuries which can range from minor to severe (first-degree burns to third-degree burns).
Electrical Burn Hazards
Contact with live wires resulting in electric shock and burns
Fires due to faulty wiring
Wet conditions while working around electrical equipment
Interaction with overhead powerlines
Damaged wire insulation
Electrical Safety Reminders
Make sure electrical equipment is properly connected, grounded, and in good working order
High amperage equipment such as space heaters, portable air conditioners, and other equipment must be plugged directly into permanent wall receptacles
Use outlet plug covers in all of your outlets if you have children
Do not overload extension cords and avoid daisy-chaining
Follow manufacturer’s safety instructions when using electrical appliances
Leave electrical work to the professionals! If you suspect anything in your home that may need electrical attention, contact a qualified electrician.
Electrical Safety Work Practices
Before doing any electrical work:
De-energize circuits and equipment (confirm equipment is de-energized through testing)
Follow Lockout Tagout procedures
Ensure appropriate PPE is available and donned
Inspect electrical cords and plugs for damage (do not use damaged equipment)
Keep work area dry
National Burn Awareness week also allows us to give thanks to all those that are apart of keeping our burn victims safe. There has been a great amount of research and medical advances which has improved burn care and treatment, rehabilitation, and increased burn survival rates. Firefighters, life safety professionals, and burn foundations also risk their own lives every day in order to protect others. Thank you for all that you do for us.
To find out more information on electrical burn awareness, go to http://ameriburn.org/prevention/burn-awareness-week/ and check out their A-Z list of safety practices for electrical burn prevention!